Hello and welcome to my photography blog. I’m a documentary photographer and writer from Manchester in the UK. You can email me at: email@example.com or watch a short film or three here on vimeo and you can read my own publications here at Issuu.
I went to see the Turner Prize nominees at Tate Britain last month – as if to confirm why I don’t bet on horses, I took some photos on my phone of everything that grabbed my eye and realised tonight I didn’t have a single shot from the exhibit of winner, Helen Marten.
‘Silence’ is a list of quotes about err… silence done in the stylee of a memorial stone, such as the one that covers the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. It’s part of the larger body of work I’m doing about war and remembrance, that includes ‘Faithless’ – the leaflet about the architecture of the Cenotaph (see the last blog entry) and ‘Best We Forget’ – the booklet I wrote earlier in the year. There’s a bit more to come.
Silence (I’ll think of a better name – or take suggestions on a post card) is printed at A3 size ( 297mm x: 420mm [11.75 x16.5 inch] ) onto architect’s tracing paper – though if there’s any stone carvers out there…
The first two minutes silence on the anniversary of the Armistice took place after King George V issued a proclamation:
“All locomotion should cease, so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on the reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.
Though given that the end of the “war to end all wars” set the conditions for the sequel, perhaps a better person to quote would be Shannon L. Alder:
“Be leery of silence. It doesn’t mean you have won the argument. Often, people are just busy reloading their guns”.
Just back from the printers is my new leaflet ‘Faithless: The Cenotaph As A Secular Shrine’ – I say it’s new, in fact the text is a reworking of an architectural article I did for ‘The Modernist’ magazine earlier in the year for their “F- For Faith” issue 19.
It’s one of several projects I’ve done around war memorials and remembrance, which started in March of this year with my 49-page booklet ‘Best We Forget’. I’ll tell you in my next post about a psychogeographical inspired piece ‘A Walk in the Parks’ which is also back from the printers – and they’ll be a sound piece about the Two Minutes Silence along presently.
Back to ‘Faithless’ – It’s a two sided, A3 sheet, z-folded into 6-panels and was printed in colour by an on-line printer, who I can heartily recommend. I’d usually have a pdf here for people to download, but because it’s printed as a z-fold, the page order doesn’t run in the right order when it’s viewed on-screen. So I’ll put the text and some photos from it here…
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In my Little Book of Black Arts I mention Alphonse Allais – the French humourist who inadvertently invented conceptual art. He did all black pictures before Kazimir Malevich and silent compositions before John Cage – both of these were contained in a little book he did ‘Album Primo-Avrilesque’. I’ve done a version to keep the Black Arts book company.
You can download a album-primo-avrilesque
This is the one-off artist’s book my last post alluded to – It’s called A Little Book of Black Arts and is a folio of faux-Polaroids of black paintings by different artists from 1617 to 2013 – you can see the paintings in the slide show in the last post. The book is a Moleskine Japanese accordion book – each of the 32 black panes has one ‘Polaroid’ mounted on it using traditional photo corners. They are arranged in order of year painted and each photograph has a caption consisting of Artist/Title/Year.
There’s a short essay ruminating on black paintings glued into the front and in the back pocket there are some postcard sized photographs of black painting ephemera. These carry no caption, comment or cryptic clue as to their content. You can download a pdf of the essay here: david-dunnico-little-black-book-extended
400 years ago, Robert Fludd, an English cosmologist-philosopher-occultist = know-all, published a book that would explain everything. In it he included a diagram to represent the idea of nothingness – the state of the universe before creation. To modern eyes it looks a lot like a black Polaroid picture. Three Centuries later, Kazimir Malevich painted ‘Black Square’ – [Tate video] which was his statement that from then on painting would be free of having to represent real things. It was as much a revolutionary idea as when Marcel Duchamp stuck a urinal in an art gallery. And since then artists from Rothko to Richter have painted, drawn and photographed all-black pictures.
Here’s a slide show my ‘Top 30’ (and a couple more) ‘Black Pictures’ – which I’ve collected in a one-off artist’s book called, ‘A Little Book of Black Arts’ – more on that in another post.
What happens when CCTV, fashion and commerce come together… It’s the last week of ‘Loitering With Intent’ – the psychogeography exhibition I’m taking part in at The People’s History Museum. One of the things I wanted to show when I was documenting the rise of CCTV in the UK, was how it had become part of popular culture – I’d argue that when advertisers start using its imagery to sell you stuff, then it has.
CCTV camera operated by Manchester City Council and billboard advertising the mobile phone company, Three
There are almost as many CCTV cameras as advertising hoardings in the urban street scene. Both are so much part of the everyday experience of city living it was only a matter of time before cameras started appearing on the adverts in a kind of cultural cannibalism.